A juice cleanse is a way to detoxify the body by solely consuming juices for up to 10 days. Solid food is not a part of most juice cleanses. If you embark on a cleanse for more than three days, check with your doctor first.
A 2009 study published in Proceedings of the Nutrition Society found that people consuming five servings of fruit or vegetable in the form of juice concentrate over eight hours did increase their body’s antioxidants and other micronutrients. However, consuming nothing but juice concentrate can lead to sugar spikes.
Also, such a cleanse lacks fiber and can leave the person feeling perpetually hungry. A cleanse, of course, lacks any form of animal protein. Several days of a pure juice cleanse can cause severe fatigue, so limit the total days you consume nothing but pure juice.
Juicing and Gut Health
The advantage of a three-day juice cleanse is improved gut health. Two thousand years ago, the father of medicine, Hippocrates, said, “All disease begins in the gut.” Modern research shows that he could not have been more correct. An impaired gut can lead to obesity, chronic fatigue, and other diseases. The fact is, the connection between body and brain is strong. When our gut is not functioning properly, it can affect our brain or mood. Juicing sweeps through a messy gut and tidies it up.
A 2014 study at UCLA found that a mere three-day cleanse increases good bacteria and decreases bad bacteria in our gut. People who go through a juice cleanse report simply, “feeling better.” A cleanse returns the body to its natural state without all those dangerous toxins.
Before starting a juice cleanse, check with your doctor. If he or she gives the go-ahead, here’s what you can do to maximize the benefits:
- Don’t just jump into a cleanse. You wouldn’t start a running plan with a marathon schedule, would you? Prepare your body a few days prior to the cleanse:
a. Start drinking more water.
b. Reduce the amount of caffeine you usually consume. Use this time to start incorporating green tea into your diet.
c. For a week or so prior to your cleanse, include more raw fruits and vegetables in your diet every day. An excellent way to do this is by preparing at least one green smoothie per day.
d. One or two days prior to your cleanse, eliminate meats and dairy from your diet entirely. If you are used to consuming meat and dairy with every meal, start a few days earlier. This will help your digestive system accept the plant-based cleanse quicker.
e. If you’re still consuming processed foods, just stop. Processed food provides you with no benefits and can be responsible for many health problems. Start to examine labels. If you aren’t familiar with an ingredient, the chances are good you shouldn’t be consuming it. Beware of hidden sugars, even in foods labelled natural.
2. After preparing for your cleanse, decide which cleanse is most suited to your goals. The best and healthiest cleanse will be five days or less.